MINSK, 3 June (BelTA) – While talking to reporters, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko explained why it was necessary to set up a militia and what the militia will be like, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that the decision in favor of creating territorial defense troops had been made some time before. “Because no one will defend your own house like you do,” he remarked.
However, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that weapons must not be handed out without control the way it happened in Ukraine. “All our territorials are organized into regiments and battalions. We know their names and all their data. And weapons have been stockpiled for them – for every district and every battalion,” he explained.
Negative Ukrainian experience when they had to draft senior-age men and people without military service experience was also taken into account. “And I thought that we need this militia, a group of people in every rural council. There will not be many of them. Maybe 50 people. But they also need to have their own weapons in storage somewhere. We will draft them for training – they will take their assault rifles (primarily assault rifles, grenade launchers, and pistols) so that they could protect their homes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained. If armed hostilities break out, militia units could be converted into a partisan movement, he believes. “Militia can be a reserve for territorial defense,” he supposed.
The president instructed the corresponding officials to think about how militia will be organized and how militia personnel will be trained how to handle the main kinds of weapons.
Speaking about ways to enhance the defensive capability of the state, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned his recent meeting with the head of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen Igor Shunevich. Over 90,000 people, who know how to handle weapons, are members of the society. “I say: ‘Are you going to stand aside? One and a half of our current army. Give us at least 5,000, they are excellent shooters, we will think how to supplement them with military equipment.' He says: ‘No need, we have everything',” Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned details of that conversation. The president set a concrete task for the head of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen: “Five thousand is your job. You will be in command of this corps or brigade. The task is understandable. 5,000 well-trained people are a force.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko also reminded about his decision to arm Belarusian firefighters in order to deploy them alongside army units in case of a conflict or armed hostilities.
Speaking about the advisability of creating militia, the president stressed: “It was not a haphazard decision. It all comes from the earth. People should learn how to handle weapons, there is nothing worth with it. Every family will be able to defend their home, their town, their village. It is based on the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and comes from the earth.”
On 27 May Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin mentioned that militia may be created in Belarus. At an annual muster for heads of territorial defense zones the official noted that during the government conference held to revise the development of the Belarusian army the head of state gave the relevant instructions. Viktor Khrenin said: “We see that this matter is also very important. Most importantly we have people and weapons for it. Indeed, the number of people protecting our country may increase by several times. It is of great significance in the current situation. The answer to those who invade our land will be adequate.”
Viktor Khrenin mentioned the importance of territorial defense in view of the complicated military and political situation evolving around Belarus. “Territorial defense may play the decisive role in an armed conflict. Because armies win battles while nations win wars,” the defense minister said.
Viktor Khrenin noted with satisfaction that every head of a district administration or an oblast administration in Belarus pays close attention to territorial defense matters. He added that scheduled events and surprise inspections testify to that.